There are a lot of things this pandemic will be called in hindsight. As we approach the half-way mark in 2020, I’d like to reflect on what was most revealing when life as we knew it came to a grinding halt and we found ourselves uncovering learnings from the upsetting and applying them to a resetting.
I’ve noticed positive elements at both spiritual and superficial levels of my daily life. Yes, superficial things can be good things too. In this context, while there will be some very deep lifestyle-altering changes, there are also small things on the surface that have caught our eye and evoked greater appreciation.
Here are a few of my most meaningful spiritual and superficial reflections. Maybe some of you can relate…surely you have some too.
Spiritual: As a result of COVID-19, my husband’s constant business travel was grounded. The result: we’ve seen him more in the past 3 months than we did in the past 3 years, and we still really like him! What a gift this time together has been to our family and our daughter’s development – an impossibility before the pandemic.
As my daughter so imperfectly summed it up this past week, “Mom, are you pissed-out by the disease?” [Not a typo, rather, her version of “pissed-off” after hearing it who-knows-where.] “Don’t be mad, I like this disease because my Mom and Dad were always working and now they’ve spent so much time with me!” Sometimes 5-year-olds can really bring clarity to a situation – helping us see the bright sides of very dark situations and move forward when it’s too easy for all of us to just sit there and be “pissed-out”.
Superficial: I see myself as a pretty down-to-earth kind of gal, but I do have my standards when it comes to TP and PT. To that end, I wish my loves, Charmin and Bounty, would stop playing hard-to-get. If I didn’t express my appreciation for you enough before the panic hoarding and supply chain challenges, please know that I sincerely apologize for taking you for granted! 😉
Spiritual: In its absence, I truly miss and appreciate the collection of little experiences and interactions with people in the day-to-day – they add up to such meaningful impact in the journey of life. Even a quick but distant in-person chat with a neighbor during this isolated time can truly revive me.
Superficial: I find it so surprising that we all got on board with the benefits of underpants in the past, but there are some that so vehemently resist the idea of wearing a mask for just a period of time. Shirts, shoes, and some level of selflessness seem like a fair baseline agreement to shop in public places. Yes, I’ve read all the debates out there – medical-based arguments and civil liberties among them – and do my best to consider all sides, but I just disagree that violating Costco’s safety guidelines is your right as an American. Shop elsewhere if need-be, but they get my dollars and my support on this one.
Spiritual: Time in nature has proved to be a critical element of well-being and longevity in the longest-lived cultures as studied by Dan Buettner in “The Blue Zones.” Perhaps this moment in time is the Universe pushing us out of the confines of our glass boxes and reminding us to spend more time in nature – taking in both its beauty and benefits. A good walk has always filled me with creativity and peace – a perfect antidote to virus anxiety.
Superficial: What a good meditation can’t fix, a brownie might. Nobody’s perfect. Om nom nom…
Spiritual: Our family didn’t own an adult-level puzzle, nor cared to sit patiently and construct one before March 2020. But, we took on (and conquered) a 1,500 piece puzzle as a family to draw us away from the consistently unsettling news. The time spent working together and celebrating almost every fit-piece will be some of my favorite memories when we look back at (the first?) lockdown.
Superficial: I used to shop at Target a few times a week as much as a stress reliever as a source of necessities. But through this, it proved itself worthy of my loyalty delivering essentials to my house with greater speed and consistency than my previous online shopping destination. I’m not calling it a breakup with the latter, but kudos to this “big box retailer” for coming through when it counted. I’d also like to enthusiastically tap a cowbell for all the shop owners on Etsy as well as the local small businesses that pivoted like ninjas to support us when that type of business shift in most large corporations would have taken years to activate. I have always been an advocate of nimble and tenacious drive to create measurable success…and this has only reinforced that it’s a winning business strategy.
Spiritual: May we never take our health and wellness for granted again. It seems that a significant portion of those greatest afflicted by the virus have compromised health from a variety of both controlled and uncontrolled factors at-play. For those factors that we are able to control which negatively affect our health such as: the temptation of quick, processed foods, an over-consumption of sugar and “bad” fats, or an “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” mindset, etc…let’s instead be sure to choose life moving forward. Choose to get healthier for your family. Choose the feeling of waking up energetic and excited to face another day. Choose to give yourself a fighting chance against the next big bug that may surface. What a gift we have been given in our time on earth to make a meaningful contribution to the world – however big or small – so respect and honor that with your commitment to wellness. It matters.
Superficial: Taking food out of external packaging as suggested at one point by the experts to reduce virus exposure has meant putting the contents in glass, hermetically sealed jars in my pantry instead (again, thanks be to Target). We have found this to be such a pleasant shift from an aesthetically-pleasing and food-preservation standpoint: win-win!
Spiritual: Your church is who you are, not where you attend. To that end, my belief is that influence gained by fear is a short-term tactic and not as powerful as the long-term and lasting-impact of positive psychology. Gratitude, authenticity, compassion, and lightheartedness can help us improve creativity, open mindedness, resiliency, connection, health and strategic thinking. These are the traits we should all consistently embody to help us broaden and build, create breakthroughs, uncover new thinking, and drive ideas into being. Can I get an “Amen”?
Superficial: I’ve become a big fan of the pre-paid, no contact, curbside restaurant pickup. I find that it’s like fancy drive-through and I’m here for it. And P.S. – please be sure to keep tipping this hard working restaurant staff, I know they are grateful!
While this is just a very small attempt to uncover some preliminary up-sides to this incredibly sad and unfortunate pandemic – and certainly not in ignorance of the very dark sides of it – I hope that we’ll give this our best effort to leverage all lessons a catalyst for broad reassessment, optimization, and beneficial outcomes. If we do, I believe we will find some truly significant silver linings. May we also continue to recognize our essential workers courageously performing critical jobs that keep us keep fed, clean, sheltered, educated, warm/cool, and quite literally…alive. Let history reveal that among many titles and takeaways this experience will deliver, one was a great reset of our consciousness and commitment to better-appreciate things both big and small, deep and shallow during our fleeting time on Earth.
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Danielle is Founder of The Well-Intended® and an award-winning Executive Wellness Coach. As a former Senior Executive in the Marketing and Advertising Industry, she’s passionate about improving employees’ quality of life through improved mental and physical well-being and knows first-hand how great an impact it can have both personally and professionally. If you’d like to learn more about how The Well-Intended can help your organization – be it a webinar, speaking engagement, or one-on-one coaching – please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
iStock photo credit: faithiecannoise
Disclaimer: “The Well-Intended”, and its associated blog and social media pages are owned and operated by The Well-Intended LLC and does not provide medical advice. The Well-Intended’s author is not a physician or licensed medical expert. The content provided shares perspective on a personal wellness journey and healthy lifestyle approach practiced by its owner in order to achieve their own health and happiness. Please consult your physician for advice and/or guidance regarding specific concerns with your own health, vitamins, supplements, fitness plan and/or anything else health- or wellness-related.
Enjoyable read, Danielle!
I love this post!! I never worked from home and while it’s been an adjustment, I’ve gained:
1. Lunch every day with my husband and kids, as well as dinner together every night
2. While we miss sports, I don’t miss rushing from work trying to get them to 6pm practice when I had to stop at aftercare, figure out how to get them changed and fed with no time.
3. We’re cooking more together, back to eating relaxed meals with real food. We even did a family chopped challenge and I make a pretty mean bananas fosters
4. We resumed riding bikes. We hadn’t ridden bikes as a family for 5 years. Five years!!!! And we love it.